Evaporator coils are generally located inside a consumer’s home and they are essential to the proper functioning of any central air conditioning system or heat pump. According to the lawsuit, Goodman and Amana central air conditioning and heat pump systems contain defective evaporator coils that improperly and prematurely leak refrigerant (a.k.a. Freon®). The defect allegedly renders the systems inoperable because the cooling cycle will not work without refrigerant.
Although Goodman sells these units with a warranty, that warranty is limited in a way that provides insignificant protection to owners of the units. In particular, the Goodman warranty, by its terms, covers replacement parts, but not the labor costs associated with the replacement. According to the lawsuit, the result is that, when a defective evaporator coil fails, Goodman provides the owner with a replacement coil, but does not pay to have the old coil removed or the replacement coil installed. As alleged in the lawsuit, those labor costs typically run in the hundreds of dollars, and in some cases, thousands of dollars. Thus, in at least some instances, the owner is forced to spend as much or more to replace the defective evaporator coil as the cost to purchase a new Goodman unit.
The complaint also alleges that Goodman has known that its units sold since 2007 contained defective evaporator coils, but the company failed to inform consumers about the problem or issue a recall. Indeed, according to the lawsuit, Goodman continued to tout the quality of its air conditioning systems—claiming they were durable, dependable, and long lasting—even though it was aware that the defective evaporator coils would cause the units to fail prematurely and at rates far above the industry average.
The lead plaintiff in the case acquired his Goodman unit when he purchased his new house in September 2011. According to the lawsuit, in or about July 2013, after only one summer of use, the unit stopped cooling the plaintiff’s home. A service technician allegedly found that the unit was low on refrigerant and added four pounds of refrigerant, which immediately leaked out of the system. After observing this, the technician determined that the evaporator coil was leaking and needed to be replaced. According to the complaint, the service technician returned the old defective evaporator and replaced it with a new one, charging plaintiff approximately $650 for this service.
The civil action was filed in North Carolina state court on behalf of all consumers in North Carolina that purchased a central air conditioning unit or heat pump bearing the trade names Goodman® and Amana® from 2007 to the present.
This lawsuit is one of several that have been filed against Goodman in other states making the same or similar allegations. Plaintiff is represented by the law firms of Tycko & Zavareei LLP and Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP.
The lawsuit is captioned Whitaker v. Goodman Global, Inc., et al. and a copy of the complaint can be found below. Consumers with similar issues, or other people with information about defects in the Goodman evaporator coils, are encouraged to contact attorney Lorenzo Cellini at Tycko & Zavareei LLP.